Blue Valley School District has record number of National Merit semifinalists

Blue Valley National Merit

58 students were named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists for 2022, a new record according to district officials. Still in the application process, the finalists and scholarship winners will be announced later this spring. Scholarships worth nearly $30 million in total are up for grabs. Filed image.

A record number of Blue Valley students have been named National Merit semifinalists for the organization’s 2022 program.

National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced this year’s semifinalists last week.

A total of 58 Blue Valley seniors were named semifinalists, the most the district has ever had, according to a district statement.

Additionally, Blue Valley also has the most semifinalists of any single Kansas school district this year.

“I think, really, the praise needs to go to the students and their teachers who helped get them prepared for this,” Superintendent Tonya Merrigan said.

The approximately 16,000 high school senior semifinalists selected from across the country have an opportunity to continue in the competition.

Ultimately, some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth about a total of $30 million will be offered to finalists next spring.

To be considered for scholarships, the semifinalists must fulfill several requirements in order to advance to the final round.

“[The students] have been prepared their whole entire academic career,” Merrigan said. “And our teachers worked really hard to get there students prepared, even during a pandemic.”

What happens next

About 95% of the semifinalists nationwide are expected to become finalists, according to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

Approximately half of those finalists will then win a scholarship, earning the title of “National Merit Scholar.”

The finalists will be selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors.

The seniors applying are judged on their:

  • academic record throughout high school,
  • the level of difficulty of subjects studied and grades earned,
  • their scores on the Preliminary SAT and/or National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test,
  • contributions and leadership demonstrated in school and community activities,
  • an essay written by the student
  • and a recommendation written by an official from their high school.

The number of scholarship winners named in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s graduating high school seniors.

Finalists will be named in the spring of 2022.

Below is a list of all Blue Valley School District’s National Merit semifinalists, by high school:

Blue Valley High:

  • Tyler H. Cho
  • William J. Creamer
  • Sophia D. Dvorak
  • Sofia G. Hughes
  • Stephania Kontopanos
  • Erin G. Lynn
  • Nathan A. Nguyen
  • Helenna N. Shcherbinin
  • Jocelyn Wang
  • George C. Xue

Blue Valley North:

  • Audrey C. Beckman
  • Qasim M. Chohdry
  • Caroline I. Clarke
  • Kevin H. Fan
  • Matthew A. Freeman
  • Anna C. Hamilton
  • Prakhya Haarika Kakumanu
  • Cadence I. Koffman
  • Jordin R. MacKenzie
  • Ella E. O’Brien
  • Samuel E. Peterson
  • Hyesoo Song
  • Meredith C. Vaughn

Blue Valley Northwest:

  • Daniel Cheng
  • Evan F. Clark
  • Elizabeth G. Cross
  • Ian D. Fletchall
  • Carly H. Gagnon
  • Anusha R. Gampala
  • Renee A. Liou
  • Hunter W. Long
  • Younggi D. Moon
  • Saisharan Narayan
  • Ethan H. Shah
  • Adarsh R. Veerapaneni
  • Julianne G. Zheng

Blue Valley Southwest:

  • Brianna E. Duty
  • Logan D. Garber
  • Nicole J. Giam
  • Samuel B. Grimsley
  • Sophia C. Rose

Blue Valley West:

  • Shashank Aitha
  • Puneet S. Bagga
  • Shriya Dave
  • Lauren Dsouza
  • Ethan Guo
  • Joseph K. Liang
  • Humphrey Luo
  • Kushala Madduru
  • Liam A. Mann
  • Yaeesh A. Mukadam
  • Chethani M. Perera
  • Max J. Rong
  • Aastha Sharma
  • Saumil Sharma
  • Sachin S. Shenoy
  • Samuel Wang
  • Amanda J. Zhu